The Guilty Pleasure: Cinnabon Delights Where To Get It: Taco Bell, locations everywhere Price: $1.49 What It Really Costs: At 260 calories, you can do worse.
Taco Bell seems to have found an unusual secret to success: Some of their most noteworthy products are cross-promotional efforts. I know a few people who turn up their nose at the mention of the Bell, until the topic of Mountain Dew Baja Blast (a result of Taco Bell being part of Yum! Brands, formerly part of Pepsico) comes up. And, of course, there's the wildly popular Doritos Locos Tacos.
The latest co-branded effort turns its attention to the biggest afterthought in all of fast food: dessert. The only quick-service sweet treat with any traction (outside of dessert-centric places like Dairy Queen) is the ubiquitous milkshake, and even then, it's most often served with dinner than after.
Taco Bell hopes to get more fast food dessert dollars by offering Cinnabon Delights. Yes, that Cinnabon, the fragrant calorie bomb that once was a staple offering in seemingly every shopping mall in the country. The Cinnabon Delights (ye gods, I hate that name! I feel like I got 25 Crazy Cat Lady points when I ordered them!) are a sort of ersatz pared-down Cinnabon, made into finger food that fits Taco Bell's car-friendly menu.
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Your buck-fifty gets you four slightly oversize doughnut holes filled with frosting and covered in cinnamon sugar. The "cinna" part of the name is barely there, certainly not even close to Cinnabon's namesake gooey cinnamon rolls. So, what we have here is but a vehicle for cream cheese frosting. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Instead of giving a Taco Bell twist to an established item, the Cinnabon Delights are more of a straight Cinnabon item tacked on to the menu. Indeed, it's almost exactly that; Cinnabon recently released Cinnasweeties at its bakery locations. It's an item that's exactly identical to Cinnabon Delights, except that the frosting is served on the side.
Are these going to spark a revolution like the insane success of Doritos Locos Tacos? I highly doubt it. The frosting is enjoyable (let's be honest, when isn't frosting enjoyable?), but the base product at your friendly local doughnut shop is more of a draw. I think these are doomed to be like every other fast-food sweet. You'll order them by saying "Yup, that's everything . . . Actually, what the hell, I'd like some Cinnabon things too."